SEBRING — The Lake Placid All-Stars started slow but found their offense in plenty of time in rolling to a convincing 17-7 mercy-rule win over Hardee County in Saturday morning’s opening game of the Dixie Boys (age 14) State Tournament at Max Long Complex.
Lake Placid came out sluggish and dropped behind by a score of 6-1 before its potent offense found the range and put up a barrage of hits against the Hardee hurlers.
“I am so proud of the kids for not getting down on themselves when we fell behind early,” said Lake Placid Dixie Boys coach Randy Harris. “The kids woke up, our bats came alive and we finally put some hits together and scored some runs. “Our bullpen did a great job of shutting the Hardee offense down and gave us a chance to get back in the game.
“This is a good win and we should be confident heading into our next game.”
The win moved Lake Placid into a winner’s bracket game today and set up a potential game against host team Sebring.
The Sebring All-Stars opened play on Saturday against a talented West Seminole squad.
Results from the game were not available at press time, but for the complete story and photos, be sure to read Monday’s Highlands Today sports section.
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Hardee County came out swinging and took the early lead thanks to some timely hitting.
Lake Placid began its comeback in the fourth inning by putting up three runs to trim its deficit to 6-4.
The boys in green and white came out with a vengeance in the fifth inning and batted around against a couple of Hardee pitchers.
“We swung the bats and put the ball in play,” Harris said.
Lake Placid brought in Quesemel Sholtz in relief and the hard-throwing hurler allowed one unearned run in his two innings of work to allow Lake Placid to get back on offense.
“Hardee scored all of its runs off our starter, but our bullpen came in and shut them down,” Harris said.
Lake Placid was on a roll and went back to work in the bottom of the sixth inning as the hit parade continued with several runs crossing the plate.
Buddy Jolley ended the game with a booming triple to score Tay Williams, Katwan Gord and DJ Williams for the 17-7 lead, which brought the 10-run mercy rule into effect.
The Lake Placid All-Stars have a chance to make a run in the tournament with a solid pitching staff, go defense and a very explosive offense.
“We’ve got a good team and the boys are fired up and ready to roll,” said Harris. “We wouldn’t mind playing Sebring because we scrimmaged them twice before the tournament and they know us and we know them.”